When God Speaks to our Leader
What do you say to someone in power who believes that he has been commanded or prompted by God to export war and terrorism
to the enemies of our nation and religion?
As a fellow Christian, is it appropriate for me to challenge Mr. Bush's declaration that God has personally prompted
him to put other human beings to the sword?
Do we not believe in the same God?
Have we not both publicly acknowledged our belonging to a Christian Church with an assumed relationship to the Lord?
Could it then be assumed that each of two Christians in the same room can do nothing but agree with whatever the other
asserts in a religious context?
There is nothing that justifies the assumption that a claim by one Christian to have received a revelation from God is
a requirement for conformity from all other Christians.
We as Mr. Bush's citizen and spiritual equals do not have to step aside for his assertion that the Old Testament Jehovah
has ordered death and destruction in his almighty name.
In this regard Mr. Bush has stepped outside his role as a practicing Christian in suggesting to the nation that God has
inspired and condones his actions. Whether he realizes it or not, his declaration that it is God's will that America force
the American version of freedom on the rest of the world proposes incredibly false and foolish extensions of logic.
If Mr. Bush's assertions are true, we must assume that collateral damage is okay with God who must value American Christian
lives more than Middle Eastern Muslim lives.
We must assume that God, whom the Bible says is no respecter of persons, has now picked his favorites at the expense
of everyone else.
We must assume that God has declared that Mr. Bush, and by implication God Himself, has no need to explain or justify
this drastic change in attitude from the opposite so long held high and taught God's own Son.
We must assume that at the time when Jesus became Mr. Bush's personal savior, that saving moment included only the part
of everything Jesus is that helped the man stop his drinking.
Taking on a more Christ-like view of the rest of humanity and the world must not have been included. Caring for the poor
and children must not have been included. The sublime power and beauty of the Sermon on the Mount, The Good Samaritan, and
The Prodigal Son must not have been included.
Considering the Lilies of the Field must not have been included since it appears that in Mr. Bush's Bible there is justification
for business impatience at undeveloped and unexploited land and resource.
Mr. Bush rarely cites scripture in his speeches - probably because there is very little in scripture that he can cite
to support most of his policies except for all the Old Testament war narrations that prey on Biblical literalists who are
willing to accept the image of God desiring the killing of men, women, children and animals of nations who have offended.
Reconciling the bloodthirsty Jehovah of the Old Testament with the God of Compassion Jesus taught and demonstrated is
not something even the strictest Biblical Radicals can do successfully.
In the Judea of Jesus time, if you were killed for a sin worthy of death, you might suffer stoning with a full internal
awareness of your sinful guiltiness and having offended God. All you could look forward to would be more of the same condemnation
and vindictiveness from a Wrathful God who would punish you forever. That is truly dying in your sins.
Jesus had repeatedly taught that God was a God of Compassion and demonstrated compassion as the more important aspect
of life. His parables reflect this.
His refusal to honor his obligation to join in the stoning of the woman caught in adultery reflected this and I suggest
that it might have been at this moment when the Son of God fulfilled the Law rather than at the moment of resurrection. By
making personal innocence and worthiness criteria for participating in an execution, he altered the human understanding of
the Law of Moses forever.
Like Elijah of old who challenged and vanquished the priests of Baal to a righteousness contest with an attempt to get
God to ignite an altar that had been drenched in water, Jesus challenged the elite priesthood leadership to a righteousness
contest. The leadership publicly condemned him and had him executed. No one had more reason to wonder if Jesus was about to
die for his own sins and face that Wrathful God than his own disciples who were witnessing the elite priesthood's apparent
righteous victory despite what Jesus had taught.
Having seen him abused, condemned and executed as a criminal, the disciples had to be concerned about Jesus having been
sent to hell, judgment and oblivion by the elite priesthood as punishment for blasphemy and heresy.
Imagine then what would dawn on them as they saw the risen Lord who had obviously not died and gone to hell.
Scripture then becomes clearer as we understand what must have gone through their minds and ignited their souls: the
removal of fear of the Wrathful, Unforgiving, Vindictive and Vengeful God.
Jesus repudiated that image of God. Mr. Bush does not have nor deserve the support of Christians when he tries to bring
that image back.